ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Steve Waugh says West Indies will provide realistic gauge for Australia with 'squad full of matchwinners'

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh also said that he was impressed with the no-nonsense way his country defeated minnows Afghanistan by seven wickets in their opening match on Saturday.

Agence France-Presse, Jun 03, 2019 19:24:06 IST

London: Steve Waugh has warned Australia that the West Indies' array of strokemakers and aggressive bowlers will pose the first serious threat to the World Cup holders.

Former Australia captain Waugh was impressed with the no-nonsense way his country defeated minnows Afghanistan by seven wickets in their opening match on Saturday.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Steve Waugh says West Indies will provide realistic gauge for Australia with squad full of matchwinners

Australian won their first match against Afghanistan by seven wickets. Reuters

But the 54-year-old believes the West Indies will provide a much sterner test when they meet at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

Led by flamboyant opener Chris Gayle, who thumped 50 runs off 34 balls, the West Indies wasted little time polishing off Pakistan by seven wickets after bowling them out for 105 in their first match.

It was an impressive show of strength from the two-time champions and Waugh is intrigued to see how Australia fare against one of the tournament's most talented but unpredictable teams.

"The West Indies will provide a more realistic gauge on how the team are tracking, for they possess a squad full of matchwinners that can dominate if they gain any sense of ascendency in a match," Waugh wrote in a column on the International Cricket Council's media page.

"They are the most watchable team in the tournament with a batting line-up that can kidnap any bowling attack with brute force.

"No ground is big enough when this behemoth of a batting order clicks into overdrive but they also have a vulnerability against high-quality bowling as they tend to play one dimensional at times."

As well as their powerful batsmen, two-time World Cup winner Waugh was also impressed by the West Indies' pace attack, which bludgeoned Pakistan into submission with a bouncer barrage.

Andre Russell, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas and Jason Holder proved too hot for Pakistan to handle and Waugh said: "For the first time in a long while they have fast-bowling depth.

"Every side in this tournament will be wary of playing the Windies and I wouldn't want to face them in a knockout match.

"They are the sort of team that, if they get on a roll and build some momentum, then they could win it all.

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Updated Date: Jun 03, 2019 19:24:06 IST


World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
India 9 7 1 1 15
Australia 9 7 2 0 14
England 9 6 3 0 12
New Zealand 9 5 3 1 11
Pakistan 9 5 3 1 11
Sri Lanka 9 3 4 2 8
South Africa 9 3 5 1 7
Bangladesh 9 3 5 1 7
West Indies 9 2 6 1 5
Afghanistan 9 0 9 0 0





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254